No prob­lem of funds for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment


By Pra­jwal Shrestha From the in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment tax on petro-prod­ucts in­tro­duced by the pre­vi­ous KP Sharma Oli led gov­ern­ment, the gov­ern­ment has been able to collect one bil­lion ru­pees within one and a half months. The gov­ern­ment is col­lect­ing five ru­pees per liter of petro-prod­ucts to con­struct the Bud­hi­gan­daki reser­voir hy­dropower project. The gov­ern­ment had started col­lec­tion of the tax on petro-prod­ucts from 29 May. The gov­ern­ment had aimed to collect seven bil­lion ru­pees in a year but if the tax is col­lected at the present ra­tio, the gov­ern­ment will have a fund worth ten bil­lion ru­pees in a year, which is very much en­cour­ag­ing. This is an ev­i­dence that if there is the com­mit­ment among the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers for na­tion build­ing, there is no scarcity of funds at all. If the Bud­hi­gan­daki Project is con­structed, the na­tion can pro­duce 1200 MW electricity. This scribe ap­pre­ci­ates the plan for man­ag­ing funds for this in­fra­struc­ture project. In ad­di­tion, if the gov­ern­ment would have de­vel­oped the mech­a­nism of col­lect­ing money from the gen­eral pub­lic as share in­stead of im­pos­ing tax on the con­sumers, it would be a much more suc­cess­ful plan to de­velop many other in­fra­struc­ture projects,, in­clud­ing gthe con­struc­tion of a rail­way-line from Kerung to Lumbini by link­ing China and In­dia; Kath­mandu-Ni­j­gadh fast track road project and an in­ter­na­tional air­port at Ni­j­gadh. We don't need to knock the doors of for­eign donors to man­age funds for such projects. We are dream­ing about con­struc­tion of the rail­way line from Kerung to Lumbini by con­nect­ing Kath­mandu and Pokhara. The KP Sharma Oli led gov­ern­ment has al­ready signed a MoU with China to pre­pare de­tailed project re­port for this project. Oli was con­fi­dent about the con­struc­tion of the rail­way line, but our new prime min­is­ter Push­paka­mal Da­hal has lit­tle doubt on ma­te­ri­al­iza­tion of this project. Just re­cently, he had re­marked that from where the na­tion will man­age the funds to con­struct the rail­way line. The in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment tax can be an eye-opener for Da­hal that from where we can man­age funds for na­tion build­ing. Nev­er­the­less, Da­hal, if he has a lit­tle com­mit­ment for na­tion build­ing, has to change the modal­ity of col­lect­ing fund. If a mech­a­nism is de­vel­oped, the tax can be con­verted into shares and the con­sumers of the petro­prod­ucts will have own­er­ship on such in­fra­struc­ture projects and also they will have an at­trac­tion of re­ceiv­ing bonus from such projects once they start earn­ing profit. As cited in the past as well, many gov­ern­ment or­gans, in­clud­ing the se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions, as they have es­tab­lished wel­fare funds. These or­gans are seek­ing op­tions for prof­itable but se­cure in­vest­ment ar­eas. Cur­rently, they have de­posited the funds in dif­fer­ent banks with very low rate of in­ter­ests. If the gov­ern­ment devel­ops a mech­a­nism so that these in­sti­tu­tions can also in­vest in such in­fra­struc­ture projects with the gov­ern­ment, as­sur­ance of profit, the gov­ern­ment should not worry about the in­vest­ment. The only thing is that there should be a strong com­mit­ment among the lead­ers in the gov­ern­ment.

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